Communities

James Shaw Jr. Is Being Hailed A Hero For Stopping The Waffle House Shooter

by Tod Perry

April 23, 2018
Image via CBS News/YouTube.

James Shaw Jr. is being hailed as a hero after saving multiple lives at a Waffle House location in Antioch, Tennessee, on Sunday, April 22.

The 29-year-old Tennessee State University graduate was at the Waffle House when the reported shooter, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, began firing into the restaurant from the parking lot. When Reinking stopped to reload, Shaw approached him, wrestled him to the ground, took his gun, and threw it behind the counter. 

“He shot through that door,” Shaw recalled. “I’m pretty sure he grazed my arm. At that time I made up my mind — that he was going to have to work to kill me. When the gun jammed or whatever happened, I hit him with the swivel door.”

After Shaw grabbed the gun, Reinking fled the premises, leaving behind two magazines of AR-15 ammunition in a green jacket.

Four people were killed in the incident and two were injured, but if Shaw had not intervened, many more could have been shot.

“So I don’t know who this guy is,” shooting survivor Chuck Cordero told reporters. “I talked to him afterwards and told him, ‘You are a hero, man,’ because had that guy reloaded there was plenty more people in that restaurant that probably could have not made it home this morning.”

A photo taken at the hospital shows Shaw was wounded on his right arm and severely burned his hands when he grabbed the barrel of the hot rifle. 

Shaw joins a long list of brave, unarmed people who have taken down active shooters. Shaw’s actions add to the growing evidence against the NRA myth that “it takes a good guy with a gun to combat a bad guy with a gun.” A 2014 FBI report found that in 160 active-shooter events from 2000 to 2013, unarmed people took down assailants four times more than those with guns.

It’s being reported that Reinking had the AR-15 he used in the shooting taken from him by authorities last year, but it was returned to him by his father. Reinking was arrested at the White House in 2017 after breaking a security barrier. He told authorities he wished to speak with Donald Trump. Afterward, the FBI and Tazewell County, Illinois, police interviewed and seized four of his guns and gave them to his father. 

Reinking was arrested on Monday, April 23

Shaw has set up a GoFundMe page to help the families of the shooting victims.

Share image via CBS News/YouTube.

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James Shaw Jr. Is Being Hailed A Hero For Stopping The Waffle House Shooter